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Help Make a Difference


The County of Los Angeles' Department of Animal Care and Control relies on volunteer support from the community to provide the additional public service and animal care programs that are vital to a healthy community.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age at the beginning of service (no exceptions). If a volunteer is a minor (16-17), parental permission is required. Volunteers are representatives of the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control. There are guidelines that must be followed in order to maintain the standards of the shelter and to provide you with an enjoyable and fulfilling volunteer experience. A three hour orientation and safe animal handling training must be completed prior to becoming a volunteer. If you have a love for animals and have a minimum of 8 hours a month for at least 9 months to donate your in-kind services, please consider becoming a volunteer in one of our six shelters. Due to the amount of training involved the LA County Animal Care Volunteer Program can not accept short term volunteer commitments, i.e. 8-20 hours. We can not currently accommodate school community service volunteering.

Steps to Becoming a Volunteer

Orientation & Training: Invited volunteer candidates will be asked to attend an orientation. *Orientations take place approximately every 8 weeks on a Saturday for your requested shelter area. Orientation is a 3hr. presentation on shelter policy and safety procedures, you will then have to complete several days of on-site training and shadowing with a fully trained volunteer or staff person. These trainings may be scheduled over a 2-4 week time period. You will be notified of the next orientation scheduled in your area via email within 2 weeks prior to the scheduled orientation date. We will call those individuals that do not have email. During the three-hour orientation/training class you will be provided with a Volunteer Policies Manual that we will review. You will also learn about safety around animals. You will also be required to complete additional forms and provide proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. at the orientation class. Background Checks: Those who are successful with the onsite training will then be asked to undergo Live Scan fingerprinting through the Department of Animal Care & Control (DACC). Fingerprinting will be paid for by the department. You will receive additional information on the fingerprinting process at an orientation. Expense: Volunteers are required to purchase a volunteer t-shirt upon completion of training at the shelter for $10 (sizes S ­ XXXL). Optional sweatshirts are available for $13.

*Please note that these classes are also held on an as needed bases and may depend on the availability of our volunteer trainers.

How You Can Help

Volunteers may choose to do one or several of the various available volunteer jobs and lots more!. Community Adoptions­ To encourage and participate in the adoption of homeless animals at local offsite adoption venues. Cat Companion­ Provide quality care for shelter cats and support the kennel staff by assisting with basic cage cleaning, cat care & socialization. Shelter Host­ To provide quality customer Service to the visiting general public and to the support staff. Dog Companion­ Provide quality care for shelter dogs. Support the kennel staff by assisting with basic kennel cleaning, feeding, exercising & animal socialization.

Community Relations & Pet Outreach­ Promote the Department at Community Relation events and pet *Foster Home Care­ Provide a temporary home for the shelter animals that require special attention until they can be returned to the shelter for adoption. *Foster Volunteers must complete volunteer orientation, training & a foster class.

*You must be actively enrolled in the volunteer program to be a foster parent.

Grooming-- A well groomed animal gets adopted much faster!

Submit An Application

If you have not visited the shelter for which you wish to volunteer then please do pay us a visit. You may pick up a volunteer application at one of our shelters or you may complete and submit our application online. Minors: Individuals between the ages of 16-17 wishing to volunteer must submit a hardcopy application that includes a parent or legal guardian's signature. Download an application and mail or fax to the volunteer office.

Complete Online application Here

Print application Here

Printed applications can be mailed or faxed to the volunteer office at: 5898 Cherry Ave., Long Beach, CA 90805. Fax: 562.422.3187


Orientations are held for each shelter approximately every 8-12 weeks or as shelter needs predict. You will be notified via email or phone of the next orientation scheduled for your shelter area within two weeks before the scheduled date.

Please click here for Commonly Asked Questions.

For more information please call (562) 256-1367 or email: [email protected]

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